A North Carolina community demands the bodycam footage in the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. According to the district attorney, the body camera footage cannot be released. But protestors aren’t accepting that answer.
Andrew Brown Jr. was attempting to flee an arrest when law enforcement officers opened fire on his vehicle in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Brown was unarmed, Harry Daniels, the Brown family’s attorney claimed. Witnesses purport that the incident was an “unlawful, unjustified killing,” according to USA Today. The body camera footage that would reveal the true nature of Brown’s untimely death has not been released.
“To my understanding, there is body camera footage to this incident, and it has not been released,” Daniels explained. “A lot of speculation is going on – we’re asking for answers, accountability and transparency.”
The incident occurred Wednesday as the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office was attempting to serve Brown an arrest warrant for felony drug charges. A car pulled away and deputies fired shots, according to an officer’s video statement. The events are still unclear and protestors demand answers.
Sheriff Tommy Wooten confirmed that the deputies at the scene have been put on administrative leave “until we know all the facts.”
CNN reported that deputies opened fire on the vehicle that Brown was driving, according to neighbor accounts. It was unclear, however, if officers shot before or after the car started to move. Demetria Williams, a witness at the scene claimed that Brown was driving because she saw mud splatter on the side of a home. Tire marks were still visible on Thursday, according to a CNN reporter.
According to Williams’ report, after the officers opened fire on the vehicle, it drove through an open lot, crossed Roanoke Avenue, then came to a stop after striking a tree.
Andrew Brown Jr. was partially paralyzed on his right side after an accidental shooting, according to a Boston Globe report. He also lost an eye when he was stabbed. But according to his aunt, Glenda Brown Thomas, he looked for the humor in things.
“He had a good laugh, a nice smile. And he had good dimples,” Thomas recalled during an interview Thursday. “You know, when he’s talking and smiling, his dimples would always show. And he was kind of like a comedian. He always had a nice joke.”
Though authorities have not released all the information connected with the incident, many speculate that Brown was unarmed during his killing. “That’s my favorite nephew. He never carried a gun. He didn’t own a gun,” Andrew Brown’s uncle Pete Brown explained in his CNN interview.
Brown’s cousin, Jadine Hampton, said that “we’re waiting for the bodycam footage because we really just don’t know what happened. But if this is a case where he was killed, running away, unarmed, then we absolutely are going to pursue justice in whatever capacity that can be.”
The North Carolina NAACP called for “immediate review of the body cameras” in a statement, to pursue the case and seek justice for Andrew Brown Jr.
“Here we are again outraged to hear of yet another Black man dead, allegedly at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve,” NAACP officials said. “The murder of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, NC, Black man, 40-years of age and a father of 10 on the morning after the guilty on every count verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin screams for increased scrutiny of the policing system.”
The exact facts of the case are still being investigated. Though the body camera footage has not been released yet, Brown’s family is entitled to see it in a private viewing. Their attorney is setting up an appointment.
The tragic incident adds to the long list of police killings in America. Political unrest continues despite George Floyd’s killer, Derek Chauvin’s guilty of all charges verdict.
The event occurred only a day after Nickolas Reardon fatally shot a 16-year-old girl on Thursday afternoon. Ma’Khia Bryant was attempting to stab another girl when the shots were fired. An investigation is underway and Nicholas Reardon was put on administrative leave.
Social media continues to be a battleground for opinions on the subject, many calling for absolute justice and extreme police reform.